UL LIfts Ban on Campus Based Politics

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The issue of student politics at the University of Liberia has been a contentious one. Above: a student displays a poster in defiance of the ban on UL student political activities in 2019.

The President of the University of Liberia (UL), Dr. Julius S. Nelson, has lifted the ban on campus-based political activities of the state-run university following several months of suspension.

Dr. Nelson made the disclosure on Thursday, January 23, 2020, at the Fendell Campus during the first “LUX Talk” of the 2020, a one-day event brought together students and members of the faculty of the university, as well as special guests.

Dr. Nelson further assured the student community of providing the space to engage in political activities on the campuses of the university.

“We have concluded several consultations with the student community in preparation to move forward. We met on Monday and due to the results, I am happy to announce that as you go to the end of the semester, the ban on student activities has been lifted,” Dr. Nelson said.

Students, UL’s faculty and Korean Ambassador’s delegation at the “LUX Talk” event in Monrovia.

“We are now asking the office of student affairs to work with the various student political groups of the university to renovate the offices of the student political parties,” Dr. Nelson said.

The first “LUX Talk” of the year was delivered by, Maj. Gen. Lee In-tae, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia, on the theme: “Growing the Liberian Economy Through Education: The Korea Model”.

He said the university will also give a temporary permit to the new political group that has transitioned itself from an advocacy group to political party, known as the Progressive Students Alliance.

“We will ensure that all these political parties have their offices on the Capitol Hill campus because the university campuses belong to all student political groups,” Dr. Nelson said.

According to him, the administration has asked Professor Sekou Konneh to assist the university to be acting vice president and Dean of Students at the university.

“We hope that Dr. Konneh, along with his team will help us to ensure that the dialogue spirit with the student community continues moving forward. Again, there is no problem too big that cannot be resolved,” he said.

It can be recalled that on June 3, 2019, the Administration of the University of Liberia announced with immediate effect the suspension of all student groups and campus-based political activities on all of its campuses, until further notice.

According to the administration, “no political group shall assemble or hold meetings or engage in any political-related activities on any University of Liberia campus during this period of suspension.”

The suspension affected political/solidarity marches, political gatherings, the wearing of symbols and emblems depicting and promoting campus-based political groups, student protests, among others.

The university, in a statement at the time, said that any student who is involved in any activity that disrupts normal university activity would be expelled.

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